Sep 7, 2020
Fanfiction is a massive subject, there are so many aspects to it, from the bad stuff with the Mary Sues, rampant shipping, author inserts and wish fulfilment etc to homages and great works that extend the story and characters beyond what they were in the original and add interesting and fun aspects to fan favourites. There are many good reasons to do fanfiction: It's fun, you're inspired and want to use that inspiration, all the characteristics of the story are readymade so you don't have to do world building or character development, the work has a built in audience so you're going to have readers no matter what and hopefully some feedback, it can help make you more popular as a creator because of the fans of the original work, and you get to experiment because you can't sell the work or do anything serious with it so you may as well have fun and enjoy it!
Topics and Show Notes
Fanfiction has a bad name in many circles for the Mary Sues etc, because the format encourages writing sins more than others: you WANT to insert yourself or your prized character into the fiction that you enjoy, that's perfectly natural. It's also perfectly fine for you to do that, you should ship away with the character pairings you want, just do whatever. That said there are plenty of fan fictions that don't involve any of that by writers who take the work seriously and do a good job at creating extensions to the worlds they're interested in, so we should never think that fan-fiction is just about shipping, there's a lot more to it than that!
Years ago I found a great fan-fic of Robotech online, I didn't even know it WAS a fanfic, I had no idea what fanfiction was. I enjoyed it so much I when through it and edited all the mistakes and made fan art for it! -Not the art pictured, that was just my general fanart for Daria and Robotech… Have you ever done any yourself or read a really good one?
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Belle Starr - Relaxed rockets. Lift off into this “end credits” theme for Belle Starr. Gunwallace has already done a main theme so this will be the coda for that great comic. This is a cool, relaxing, chill out piece, Cafe Del Mar meets NASA.
Topics and shownotes
Genejoke's newspost on the subject - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/sep/01/is-making-fan-comics-a-bad-idea/
Forum thread on fanfiction - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/178494/
Era of Iridore - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/sep/01/featured-comic-era-of-iridore/
Belle Starr - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Belle_Starr/, by Jeff Salty, rated T.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Pitface - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
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Dec 30, 2019
It's been a great year! DD has continued to grow bit by bit, we've been stable and a great host for many many webcomics. DD is one of the only truly independent community focused webcomic hosting sites left. Most of the rest are commercial hubs that are not community centered. Part of our commitment to the community on DD is showcasing our best webcomics every week, which we've been doing for 17 years now, and I've personally been doing that for about 13.
Aug 12, 2019
Tantz's clever idea was that the weather isn't just a backdrop… it's an important prop in it's own right. Weather can be used to drive a plot: the wind snatches a hat and makes a person chase it, which causes them to meet another character. It can be an antagonist: people fighting a storm for example or running form a tornado. It can signal and enhance emotions: rain for a sad funeral or sun for happy for a happy event. Growing shadows can signal an ominous turn of events, wind billowing out a cloak signals a dramatic character! You can just use it for fancy visual effects if you like, snow and rain are great fun to draw, and stormy skies are the best! We chat about all things weather and give examples of how we've used it ourselves.
Mar 4, 2019
The entire team is here this time, no one was cut… So we're chatting about CUTTING, as in cutting out scenes to make a story cleaner, leaner and less flabby, but also NOT cutting because in a webcomic you don't have to, and when you cut badly you end up with a “D movie” effect where story scenes don't follow, don't make sense and plots seem to go nowhere or happen for no reason.
Aug 21, 2017
Romances don't always have to be the main focus of a story, infact you can have richer, more interesting romances if they occur in support of a bigger plot issue. It can lend them and the story more weight if they're in a secondary position. Characters can form natural, less forced relationships with each other, and this can give the wider plot of the story more urgency or meaning because it has a direct bearing on the health of their union. You can reward fans with a wished for or unexpected blossoming of love between two favourite characters without having the same inevitability that a straight out romance has. Really, there are so many things you can do! This was inspired by Tantz's Saturday newspost. Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Mindfold: A tune that fits very well with its title! You can feel your mind folding with this gorgeous, echoing, evocative multicultural influenced sound, featuring all manner of crystalline ringing synths, soaring violins, drums and so much more. This would fit well with a high concept cyberpunk anime.
Jan 2, 2017
What defines evil in fiction? I say the simplest one is bad guys are selfish, good guys are selfless. That is massively over simplistic but it's a good easy template for basic hero's and villains. Basic ones I was just doing a quick thought experiment to work out an easy way to define “good” and “evil” characters in fiction. The more selfless someone is the more “good” they are: the more they think of others, want to help people, put the needs of the masses first, the more willing they are to reach across to their enemies etc. The more selfish a person is the more “evil” they are: if they don't consider the needs or feelings of others, help out their own small group and let others suffer, help themselves first. Of course there are many other more advanced aspects, especially if you consider the relative nature of these things: the idea that everyone thinks they're the good guy from their own perspective, being cruel to be kind, being too authoritarian and heavy handed in the use of power, NOT using power when you should, helping in a way that only SEEMS destructive and selfish, trying to help but causing destruction and chaos in the process, which brings us to the dreaded “unintended consequences”. BUT, the selfless/selfish equation is a nice simple starting point to build from. In the Quackcast we discuss these aspects as well as more advanced notions about what makes a good evil character, what makes a bad one, humanising evil, and weakening you evil character by humanising them too much. Gunwallace's musical theme was for The Cull: Dark, haunting, and compelling- Eastern European Jewish, country and rock, reminds me of Tracy Bonham’s later work.
Oct 5, 2016
Separating the art from the artist, the message from the messenger… Can you do this? You know, when you find out an actor, musician, comic artist or whatever is an arsehole or says things you disagree with or is a criminal, can you separate that from their work and STILL manage to enjoy it? Or does it taint everything they've ever made? I've thought about this a lot. I think I can usually separate the art from the artist and I DON'T think that consuming the work of that artist in any way legitimises what I disagree with about them personally or endorses their criminal behaviour unless the art is specifically about that. But it can really depend on how personally you're affected by whatever it was about the artist that offended you; A Jewish person could have a far more negative reaction, understandably, to the watercolours of Adolph Hitler than most other people, to use an extreme example. What about you? Can you separate the message from the messenger, the art from the artist? The comic chosen for a marvellous theme THIS week was Cybertech. You'll hear the sounds of apocalyptic destruction and burning plasma in a dark future, epic world.
Jan 4, 2016
Happy new year! In this first Quackcast for 2016 we have Banes, Pitface and Tantz Aerine along to talk to us about Banes' neswpost topic of Wish Fulfilment in writing. It can be a good thing in that it makes the writer more interested and passionate about what they're doing as well as creating a very relatable ideal for readers with similar tastes. The negative side is that they make their world too perfect and too specific to themselves so that the whole thing just looks like an exercise in boring, pointless ego stroking. Gunwallace's theme this time was for Professor Herbert and GEO, which was also the featured comic! It sounds a bit like the theme to an '80s cartoon, which exactly what the comic looks like it should be O_o